The Latin America Conservation Council met this weekend against the backdrop of Iguaçu Falls to review its first year of work and lay out plans for a second-year agenda implementing scalable solutions to three of Latin America’s most pressing environmental and development challenges: Water Security, Sustainable Food Security, and Smart Infrastructure.
This group of global entrepreneurs and leaders reviewed progress on a set of strategic projects and partnerships being supported across Latin America to help secure water for at-risk cities, create incentives for sustainably intensifying food production, and design infrastructure projects to have reduced impacts on nature.
“We spent a day and a half rolling up our sleeves. There is a real commitment in this group to make a difference on issues that matter to the people and biodiversity of Latin America,” said Council Co-Chair and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. “Year one was about taking stock. Moving forward, this Council sees ample opportunities to raise awareness among decision-makers and the public on science-based solutions that are within our reach.”
According to Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy, the conservation non-profit that is coordinating the Council’s efforts: "The Council is off to a great start. With top leaders from business, government, the science sector and civil society, the Council will make a big impact by applying innovative solutions to conserving the natural systems that sustain the people and economies of Latin America."
For its second year, the Council announced that Roberto Hernández, Chairman of Banco Nacional de México and Vice Chair of the Nature Conservancy, will join Paulson as the Council’s new Co-Chair. Alain Belda, who had been Co-Chair in the Council’s first year, will continue on as a Council member.
“It is a great honor to become Co-Chair of the Council and to help lead the groundbreaking efforts of this group of leaders. Latin Americans care deeply about protecting nature. We protect what we care for the most. That is the force behind our work to protect Latin America’s natural capital for future generations,” Hernandez said.
Since its inaugural meeting in November 2011, in Cartagena, Colombia, the Council has supported the design and implementation of innovative solutions for the region’s greatest challenges:
A number of Council members and the institutions they represent have also provided generous financial and in-kind backing to advance the Council’s goals. This shows a unique leadership in committing to safeguard Latin America’s natural capital as a smart investment that can yield positive returns for business, local communities and biodiversity.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.